New York Jets: 5 reasons why they will still make NFL Playoffs
Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets have truly had an off-season to remember. From the addition of Brandon Marshall to the re-acquisition of future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis, you can definitely say it was successful. These two moves alone would put some teams in the talks for the Super Bowl.
However, these two were not the only moves made by newly hired general manager Mike Maccagnan. There are plenty of reasons for the Jets to have the ability this season to get back to their winning ways. Even despite the latest news regarding Geno Smith‘s recent broken jaw injury, the Jets should still be able to field a much-improved team this upcoming season.
Here are 5 reasons why the Jets will still make the playoffs in 2015.
Next: 5. Ground and Pound
Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) rushes against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
5. Ground and Pound
The Jets had one the most lethal rushing attacks last season. They were 3rd in the NFL when it came to rushing in 2014 with 2,280 yards. They are just below the Seattle Seahawks who has Marshawn Lynch and the Dallas Cowboys who had running back DeMarco Murray.
The Jets run game was upgraded this off-season with the additions of Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy. Ridley, who was on the New England Patriots his first four seasons, has been a quality physical running back. He had a 1,260 yard season before getting hurt and seeing his numbers fall due to sharing the ball with other backs.
Zac Stacy is a very athletic back who can make tight cuts and take off up the field. He had a break out rookie season with 973 yards rushing in 2013, but injuries and competition at the position caused him to have a less than average sophomore season. These two additions along with already prominent backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell will see the Jets’ running game improve and allow new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey to mix things up on offense.
Next: 4. Sons of Anarchy
Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; The New York Jets defense lines up against the Buffalo Bills offense during the second half at Ford Field. Bills beat the Jets 38-3. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
4. Sons of Anarchy
There is no surprise that the Jets’ defensive front line would be a big reason for them to be making it to the playoffs. The line has been a force to reckon with for the past 3 seasons and is only getting better with time.
After the 2015 NFL Draft, Maccagnan has made the line even stronger with the addition of USC defensive end Leonard Williams. Williams was arguably the top prospect in this years draft and was the most NFL ready.
The line however will be weakened at the beginning of the season with Sheldon Richardson suspended for four games due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Williams should be able to step in nicely though and prove why he was a first-round draft pick.
Next: 3. Brandon Marshall
May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) catches a pass during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The addition of Eric Decker last season was a big boost for the offense. However, Decker is not a No. 1 receiver and has trouble when being double covered or is covered by an elite corner. He thrives more in a supportive role if anything.
Maccagnan fixed all of that by trading for Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall is regarded as one of the best receivers in the game today and will allow Decker to be more open in a No. 2 slot.
The reasoning behind that is with Marshall’s size and talent, most defenses will have to compensate for that and throw an extra man on him leaving Marshall with the less talented cornerbacks on the team. Marshall had over 1,000+ yards receiving for 7 seasons in a row. The addition of Marshall will be a key weapon this upcoming season on offense.
Next: 2. Revamped defensive secondary
August 11, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive backs Antonio Cromartie (31) and Darrelle Revis (24) during practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
2. Revamped defensive secondary
The Jets’ defensive secondary was at best a mess last season. Constant injury and an ex-general manager that could not find a decent healthy corner had the Jets in desperate need of help. In comes Maccagnan who begins by signing young and talented cornerback Buster Skrine. In 2014, Skrine had a total of 4 interceptions and deflected 18 passes.
He however does not stop there and goes out and signs one of, if not the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis. Revis who is argued to be one of the best cover corners in the league is well known among Jets fans. Revis, who is more well known for his ability to completely take receivers out of a game than his interception ability, is back with Gang Green. With Revis back home, you can be sure that you can take off one top wide receiver off the list for every team the Jets face.
Surprisingly, Maccagnan did not stop there and went out and signed veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie and Revis have such a dynamic that fans and media call them “Batman and Robin” as well as “The Dynamic Duo.” The last time the two of these players were together, they were the No. 1 cornerback tandem in the league. Can they do it again? Possibly, but there is one thing for sure, offenses will be worried when facing the Jets’ defensive secondary this upcoming season.
Next: 1. Todd Bowles
August 11, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions about Geno Smith (not pictured) after the New York Jets hold practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
1. Todd Bowles
After firing Rex Ryan after the forgettable 2014 season, the Jets went out and grabbed Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles was a big name coming into the off-season for potential head coaching jobs around the league.
Bowles in 2014 ran one of the best defenses in the league and was able to adapt his defense to almost any situation that was thrown his way. Throughout the season, the Cardinals defense was thrown injury after injury yet they still performed to the level that they were able to hide the fact that they were on their 3rd string quarterback.
Bowles won the Associated Press Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2014 season and is touted as one of the top defensive geniuses in the league. Bowles compared to Ryan however is a very calm and humble man that seems to run a tight ship. During this years off-season, it was leaked that Ryan would not hold players accountable causing some to do whatever they wanted.
Well, with the entrance of Bowles, the feeling around the organization has completely changed, many would say even for the better. Time will only tell if Bowles is able to turn the Jets back to their winning ways but one thing is for sure, it is refreshing to have a serious head coach for a change.
Next: New York Jets: Battle of the Titans